Buddy is the story of the last three years of Buddy Holly’s life, from when he made his first record at the age of 19 to his death, at 22, in a plane crash. The story is told mostly through Buddy Holly’s own songs, with a few other contemporary songs from the Big Bopper and Richie Valens also included. In all, twenty-five songs are performed.The show is a joy from beginning to end. The performers throw themselves into it with tremendous enthusiasm and energy and really recreate the atmosphere of the late 1950’s. What is particularly impressive is that they don’t use a band – all the instruments are played by the cast members themselves. This adds real authenticity to the show – it could almost be Buddy Holly and the Crickets live on stage. Performances by the talented cast are excellent throughout and it seems unfair to pick anyone out but mention must be made of Simon Thompson, who plays Buddy so convincingly. He is on stage throughout virtually the whole show but still looks full of energy at the end. He acts, plays the guitar, sings like Buddy and even looks like him.I’ve been lucky enough to see Viva a few times in recent years and always thoroughly enjoyed their shows, but this is probably the most fun and it’s hard to see how anyone could fail to enjoy it. The audience at the performance I went to ranged from young children to grandparents and most were joining in long before the end. Definitely not to be missed. However, the performance I went to was sold out well in advance and it may not be easy to get tickets for later in the week if you leave it too long.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

On the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly's death, seasoned Fringe performers Viva Youth Theatre have been given permission to re-enact his life story and music that'll never die. A Buddy brilliant West End show!